Genesis & Job

An ancient African proverb imparts wisdom about tackling huge projects: “How does one person eat a whole elephant? One bite at a time.” The Genesis & Job Series is the first bite of Eyewitness Bible Series in tackling the Old Testament.

The most casual reader soon recognizes the majority of the writings of the Old Testament have to do with the history of the Israelites (also known as Hebrews or Jews). Embedded in the Old Testament is a wealth of knowledge about God and his character, books of poetry and proverbs, and a host of prophecies.

In Bibles used by most Protestant Christians, the Old Testament consists of 39 writings, called books. The Eyewitness Bible Series groups these books into three different series:

  • Genesis & Job: Genesis describes the creation of Earth, gives the history of all mankind, and describes a brief history of the Israelite nation from its beginning until it moves to Egypt. All of Genesis is saturated with knowledge about God, his power, and his relationship with mankind. Job is a story of an ancient man, his struggles, and his dealings with God. Although nothing is absolutely clear concerning the time period of his life, it seems as if Job lived in the time before the Israelite nation existed.
  • Promised Land: Covers the time period from the Israelites being slaves in Egypt, their exodus to Canaan, and the conquering of Canaan. This series includes the Old Testament books of Exodus to Judges.
  • Prophets and Kings: Covers the time period from the first prophet and king until the last prophet. It describes the initial occupation of Canaan, the destruction of the Northern Kingdom, the exile of the Southern kingdom, and the return to Judah. With the exception of Job, this includes the Old Testament books of Ruthto Malachi.



The setting: Jacob will inherit the majority of his father’s fabulous wealth. He is a mama’s boy who has to leave town because of his threatening twin brother and is instructed to go back to the area of his family’s origin to marry a relative of his Uncle Laban. Jacob may or may not be aware that Laban knows Jacob is wealthy and cannot wait to take advantage of him… which will be ironic because Laban is even more tricky than Jacob. Unless God steps in, the situation promises to be treacherous for Jacob.

God looks out for Jacob from the beginning. As Jacob travels back to his family’s land of origin, God reiterates that his promises to Abraham will come true through Jacob. Jacob agrees to accept God as his own god and sets up a pillar at Bethel as a sign.

When Jacob arrives at Paddan Aram, he immediately meets his cousin Rachel and falls in love with her. Her father, Laban, enters the situation and the chaos begins. After a month, Laban and Jacob agree that Jacob will work for Laban for seven years and receive Rachel as his wife, purposely agreeing to bypass Rachel’s older sister, Leah.

After seven years, Laban tricks Jacob into marrying Leah. Jacob had to succumb and agreed to work another seven years for Rachel. During that seven years, Jacob had eleven sons and at least one daughter through his two wives and their two handmaidens. Just as Jacob had been a favorite, and his father had been a favorite, Rachel was the favorite. So, her son, Joseph, was a favorite, too.

Primary Scriptures:
Genesis 28-34
Story Summary:
Jacob acquires two wives; Jacob has twelve sons; Jacob and Esau meet again
Paddan Aram, Canaan
Jacob’s birth is probably 2050 - 1900 BC